I’m back after a whole month with a list of things I read in May, which is actually a lot more sparse than usual. I think part of this is due to me forgetting to mark some things down on my list (which I update in Google Keep over the course of the month), but a big part of it is also just due to the inevitable truth: I haven’t been reading very much lately.
Sure, sometimes I’ll flip through a good book for half an hour or so, or scroll through a short story online to warm myself up before writing. And half the reason I log onto Twitter anymore is just to see what cool poems Kaveh Akbar has been retweeting. I have been listening to a great deal of music and paying close attention to the lyrics, which I think counts. But there used to be a time when I would pass entire afternoons just sunken into the reverie of some book or another, addicted to the fantasy, needing to know what would happen and caring about the characters and forcing myself not to skip ahead. I haven’t done this in a while; these days, I feel like I only do it when I’m trying to reach some deadline or another.
Luckily, I’m hopefully about to start having to read at least a little more—I’ve accepted a remote summer internship with a publishing company, which will primarily involve copyediting completed manuscripts. I’d also just like to get better about reading books on my own—there are so many on my list that I’m excited about in theory but haven’t picked up yet!! Especially in the realms of YA, science fiction, and fantasy, since we all know reading in your genre makes you much better at writing in it.
Anyway, here is the list without further ado:
“Shame Stack,” by Anne Carson
“What I Didn’t Know Before,” by Ada Limon
“When the Neighbors Fight,” by Terrance Hayes
“My Sentence,” by Dana Levin (which includes the phrase “the pixilate gold of the trees”)
“Wild nights – Wild nights! (269),” by Emily Dickinson
“I Am…,” by Alejandra Pizarnik (translated by Yvette Siegert)
“Pledge 2.0, Tribe, Zoo,” by Carlina Duan
“what’s not to liken?” by Evie Shockley
“Under the Sign of Wolves,” by Vasko Popa (translated by Charles Simic)
“Small Fantasia: Light Years,” by Ishion Hutchinson
“It Is In Your Self-Interest to Find A Way to Be Very Tender,” by Safia Elhillo
Circe, by Madeline Miller
“Incant Against Suicide,” by Mary Karr
“dance moves,” by Kwame Opoku-Duku
“Death and Memory,” by Frank Stanford
“Logic,” by Richard Siken
“Yilan,” by Kristin Chang
“Obit,” by Victoria Chang
“Vals” / “Waltz,” by Pablo Neruda
A lot of these I haven’t been able to find direct links for because they’re poems from books—either books I was reading or books that other people took pictures of and then posted online. It really isn’t a joke to say that Twitter is a fantastic way to discover random poetry. (Of course, it’s also a social media vacuum that I very often use to procrastinate for no reason—technology goes both ways, I guess.)
My writing goals for June:
I’m going to make hard progress on the book I’m writing.
I’m going to delve more into reading, inside and outside my genre.
I’m going to get back into submitting my work. I have a lot of short stories just sitting around because I haven’t been in the mood to submit them anywhere, but life is only so long and most places take so long to get back to you, so I should probably go ahead and send them out before enough time passes for me to get back to hating them.
I think that’s pretty much it for now! My only other update is that I received my contributor copies of Blue Earth Review, which published my short story “Paradise”! I’ve been meaning to take some pictures of the review because it is JUST SO HANDS-DOWN BEAUTIFUL THROUGH AND THROUGH, but I haven’t yet, so I’ll save that for a future post.
And I’m finishing this post at 10 am, just in time to go hunt down some presale tickets to try to see Mitski! May anyone who happens to be reading this have just as content a morning!